I go through bicycle phases. Sometimes I ride a lot, sometimes not. For the past few years, I’ve been riding it a lot. Back and forth to work. . . around town. . . to Mexico. . . etc
Anyway, I’ve had the same bicycle for about 14 years, and last week I got a hole in my wheel. Not the inner tube, not even the tire, it’s the rim.
The rim of my back wheel where the brakes touch has been getting progressively more concave as the years go by, and as you can kind of see in the photo, I finally wore through it. This meant, of course, that I had to replace my rim in the middle of our buy-nothing year.
I’m not saying I got around buying things, but I had luckily foreseen this happening a year and a half ago and already had a new wheel waiting in the shadows. No, I wasn’t stockpiling. I had been meaning to switch it out ages ago, but was too lazy to actually follow through until it became a true issue of safety. It’s actually to my detriment, because now I have to deal with the waste properly.
And I did purchase something – new brake pads and a new brake cable (my old ones were getting unsafe). Neither are the types of things you can really get secondhand (when they’re dead, they’re dead), so I had to go new.
I did decide to get brake pads with cartridge pads, so I only have to replace the rubber bit each time from now on and not the whole pad. I also picked the brand with cardboard packaging instead of a plastic cover.
So, on the garbage front, I now have one wheel, one brake cable and sheath, and one set of pads. But I must say that the purchasing and waste was worth it because this new wheel and brake set up is ever so much more smooth, fast, and efficient than my old, grime-coated version from the early 90’s. I wish I had done it sooner.
I’m thinking that the cable and the wheel can be termed scrap metal and possibly recycled. Alternatively, the wheel could make some kind of art project – I’m thinking a Christmas mobile since we won’t be buying a tree to hand our ornaments on this year. Maybe that’s too folksy. Any better ideas?